Storm ravages moored sailboats, Coast Guard responds

BOSTON – The Coast Guard responded to two sailboats broken loose from their moorings near Kittery, Maine, following a powerful storm that blew through the area Saturday night.

A reporting source called Station Portsmouth Harbor at 12:20 p.m., and said there was an unmanned sailboat submerged near the pier in Pepperell Cove. The station, who was just finishing a heavy-weather training session, launched a 25-foot boat crew who arrived at 12:30 p.m.

“When we got there, we basically saw a mast sticking out of the water,” said Petty Officer Second Class Nathan Washburn, boat operator.

Local residents at the scene told the crew that there was also second boat washed up on the beach about 300 yards from the pier. The crew relayed the hull number to Coast Guard Sector Northern New England in Portland, Maine, who notified the owner. The sector is working with the Kittery Harbor Master to identify the owner of the submerged sailboat.

Washburn said the over-night weather in the area was severe and the seas in the Gulf of Maine were about 11 or 12 feet.

“Pepperell Cove is really well protected from three sides, but with the direction of the wind and waves last night, they were coming right inside,” he said.

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